HSA news release May 29th 1995

Ten saboteurs received hospital treatment in Dorset today after a terrifying ambush by hunt heavies at the Ytene Minkhunt. Twenty-three saboteurs had attended the hunt meet on the River Stour in Marnhull, near Shaftesbury, Dorset: only four escaped injury.

One woman who was present said "It was like something out of a film ... it was just a bloodbath."

At about 1 p.m., saboteurs in the field spotted known thugs from the New Forest Foxhunt hiding in bushes. The 15 heavies, armed with sticks, cudgels, and a slingshot, immediately launched a sustained attack on the protesters. The attack started with a barrage of rocks the size of housebricks and the thugs then moved in to attack individuals. While some were beaten with cudgels, others were punched to the ground and kicked and stamped on. The thugs had been brought in specially for the day in what appears to be a carefully planned attack, resulting in serious injuries to several sabs. Ten of the injured were taken to Shaftesbury Casualty Department for treatment to a host of injuries:

  • a Bristol woman treated for a broken wrist after she was stamped on as she lay on the ground
  • a North Dorset woman treated for a weal on her left shoulder after being beaten with a heavy stick while another woman from the area suffered a dislocated finger
  • a Cambridge woman had her camera smashed and was kicked and punched
  • two men from Cambridge were treated for leg wounds after being hit by a 2-inch piece of lead shot fired from a slingshot
  • a man from Bath had his camera and glasses smashed and sustained severe head injuries from being kicked and punched in a sustained assault so vicious he was left with a boot mark on his head
  • a Peterborough man suffered a broken finger and heavy bruising to his back after he was repeatedly kicked and punched as he lay on the floor
  • a man from Ross-on-Wye received two stitches in a vicious cut above his eye
  • a woman from Bath had to be rushed to Yeovil hospital by ambulance after she suffered a severe asthma attack induced by the trauma of the attack. Two thugs stamped on her back as she lay helpless on the ground.
  • a video camera and a van window were smashed.

Amazingly, it appears that the local police knew in advance that an ambush had been planned and took no steps to prevent it. There was just one officer present at the hunt, a PC Cotton from Blandford, who hinted to protesters that they should not go near the hunt as "there's more of them than you ... and they're twice the size". He then went on to say that "if anything happened ... I'm not going to be here to pick up the pieces." Just quarter of an hour later the thugs launched their attack and PC Cotton was conveniently nowhere to be seen.

The Ytene Minkhunt have an appalling track record for violence of the worst order and while the police turn a blind eye to these sort of mob attacks there is little to deter them from the sort of hooliganism that would bring shame on any football club.